Casino Stalker | Compacts

Forest County Potawatomi Tribe wins concession in casino fight

Artist's rendering of the proposed Menominee Nation off-reservation casino. Image from Casino Kenosha

The Forest County Potawatomi Community has won a major concession from the state of Wisconsin as Gov. Scott Walker (R) continues to review the Menominee Nation off-reservation casino proposal.

The Potawatomis and Walker signed an amendment to the tribe's Class III gaming compact that requires the state to compensate the tribe for any losses from the proposed $810 million casino in Kenosha.

"Governor Jim Doyle negotiated updated compact amendments with several tribes to indemnify, or protect, them from losses as a result of a new competing casino," Walker said in a statement, referring to one of his predecessors -- former governor Jim Doyle (D) .

The amendment was submitted to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for review. It was accompanied by a letter that questioned whether the state can legally compensate the Potawatomis.

"Creating this type of annual obligation on the part of the state is likely beyond the power of the governor," the letter, which was written by an outside attorney hired by Walker, stated, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

The Potawatomis have already withheld a gaming payment from the state even though Walker has yet to make a decision on the Menominee casino. The payment has been estimated to be somewhere between $25 million and $30 million.

Despite winning the concession, however, the Potawatomis remain opposed to the new casino. Kenosha is 40 miles from the tribe's Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee.

Walker has until February 2015 to make a decision and has indicated he will wait as long as possible to do so.

Get the Story:
Compact amendment muddies Kenosha casino proposal (The Kenosha News 12/3)
Kenosha casino faces new legal hurdle (The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 12/3)
Walker, Potawatomi sign compact amendment to offset losses from potential Kenosha casino (AP 12/2)
Tribunal backs Potawatomi amendment to state compact; Walker says it's not indication of support for Kenosha casino (The Milwaukee Business Journal 12/2)
Gov. Walker: ‘Another step’ in process toward casino decision (Fox 11 News 12/2)
Governor Walker says review of proposed Kenosha casino ‘ongoing’ (Wisconsin Radio Network 12/2)
Two months ahead of Kenosha casino decision deadline, state still negotiating with Potawatomi Tribe (WIIT 12/2)

Bureau of Indian Affairs Documents:
Press Release | Fact Sheet: Menominee Nation Decision | Section 20 Determination: Menominee Nation Off-Reservation Casino

Related Stories:
Tribes at odds for Menominee Nation off-reservation casino (11/12)